Sunday, June 5, 2016

He wears his sunglasses at night... Experimenting with painting night lighting effects (my workbench)

I couldn't sleep last night much, so I got up early and decided on this quiet Sunday morning to experiment with lighting effects..

I'm not very good at it to be honest.. I tried recently with a lightsaber to (at best) an okay effect, but I was not 100% satisfied.. You know us (imagined) creative types. :-).

I had this Heresy Miniature for some time now, the smoking sentry, and decided to practice some lighting effects on a mini and have the light from his lighter and cigarette illuminate him painting-wise as if it were at night.

Anyone in the military would know not to light up a cigarette like that when you're on guard duty, but I imagine our sentry here is the mercenary independent tough-guy type..

And yes, yes, I know, it's night.... but like Corey Hart, that's when he likes to wear his sunglasses so he can track visions in his eyes ♫.  .

I think the trick here is to the reverse what normally you would do..Here, the closer to the cigarette, the lighter it should get and the further away, the darker you get, even when there are folds.

I decided to put a flash of colour (skin and a green colour for the suit) on top, and then gray and black everywhere else.

After I put the colour, then I used yellow and orange ink (watered down) to highlight the yellow-orange-red aspect of a flame over the skin and clothes.

I felt a bit strange putting yellow and orange on skin at first..

I think the key is, not to overdo it. The sentry is just flicking on a $2 lighter, not using a flashlight.

I put skin colour on the sides, but realized that in a straight-line, the light from the lighter should not show on the sides of the head, so I grayed that out.

I put blue ink on the gun on a black base to highlight the black metal against the black coat.

Anyways, I am not sure I pulled off a proper lighting effect here, but practice makes perfect. I won't bother putting this on Coolminiornot. I find the voting is getting more and more viscious there lately with voters deliberately ignoring the fact that 5/10 is good enough for tabletop play, as this mini is. I would be getting a lot of 3s and 4s, which are rated as terrible.


  1. Hi Mr Byte,

    I'm new here....I like what I see, very interesting mix :)

    Regarding the OSL, I think the first guy needs a little more white added to the light saber & a bit more blending on his cloak....after that it'd look ace!

    The cigarette attempt is really well executed, but the stark blackness of the rest of him is off putting. I'd suggest adding some very subtle colour to him.

    I should also add that I am by no means an expert on OSL, it is indeed a tricky beast to master. Your efforts are very good IMHO.

    Cheers :)

  2. Thanks for the tip. I was thinking the same thing about adding subtle colour as well. I'll have to think about how to do it.

    1. BTW, the one, I see you're a fellow Greek. Excellent!

    2. Actually, I'm just a lowly convict....impersonating a Greek :)

      Yeah, OSL is a funny thing isn't it. Most of the time I just sort of fluke the effect. So even though I know the theory, I'm not there yet on the practical side yet.